Afterimage

Here is a photograph,
a composite of youth:
boys race down a flagstone path,
bicycles rush over macadam streets,
the world is black and white,
uncomplicated.

In paper-thin portraits
inside auburn tomes,
the dead live on,
their monochrome faces,
their frozen smiles
filed and dated
like evidence,
pressed under glass
like fossils.

Here is a photograph,
an abstract of youth
that paints the past distort,
that lithographs the lines
worth saving,
and turns bitter experience
into something
that can be framed—

Phil Lane’s poems have been appearing online and in print for the past decade. He teaches English for a private tutoring company in Northern New Jersey.

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